I stumbled across this lovely nautical tote at Payless the other day. It normally retails for $24.99 but I personally wouldn’t pay that much for a canvas tote, especially one from Payless. However, it’s on sale right now for $12.49 and with a 20% off coupon that brought my total down to $9.99.
I have no problems paying $10 bucks for a cute bag. Unfortunately, this has one fatal flaw that makes it worthless to me.
When I first saw the Kai Tote in person and felt it in my hands I was impressed. The canvas has a good weight and thickness to it. It doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy at all. There’s a nice stiffness to the bag so it stands up on its own and holds its shape well. It doesn’t fall over or collapse on itself.
The Kai Tote has a simple pattern of thick white and navy blue stripes and a golden anchor is stitched onto the front of the bag. To round out the nautical theme, the handles are white ropes. The interior of the bag is lined with navy blue fabric and the back wall on the inside has one zippered pocket and a smaller slip pocket next to it. A single magnetic button secures the bag.
If you’re a fan of nautical apparel and accessories, the Payless Minicci Kai Tote would be hard to resist. The material feels nice and sturdy, the stitching is strong and tight, and the anchor applique and rope embellishments are lovely touches. The terrible thing that negates all of the wonderful aspects of the bag is the navy blue of the stripes bleeds.
I didn’t notice it when I was at the store due to the poor lighting but when I got home and looked more closely at the bag I noticed the blue bleeding into the white along parts of the seams. And if the blue bleeds when the bag’s dry, I’d hate to see what happens when the bag accidentally gets wet. Initially I thought it would make a great beach bag or something I could take to the water/amusement park but now obviously not.
Of course, I returned it to the store the very next day.
I hate to rag on Payless because I think there are some hidden gems to be found there. I’ve always been quite pleased with the quality of the canvas flats and slip-ons that American Eagle puts out for Payless. I had one pair that lasted for years before I wore out the soles.
And I got this wonderfully tacky fish ring on clearance for $2 from Payless years ago. It hasn’t tarnished and none of the “gems” have fallen out 😛
There are definitely good deals and items to be had at Payless. I thought the Kai Tote might be one of those but sadly I was wrong. It’s possible that if I had sprayed it down with Scotchgard or some other sort of waterproofing sealant that I might have saved it from further bleeding (or it might have worsened it, I don’t know) but I wasn’t going to take the chance and it was a bit ruined already. In this case, I thought it was wisest to get my money back.